Last week I talked about planning your manuscript right from the beginning. During the Dark Fantasy Writing course taught by Kelley Armstrong, she handed out a form to develop our character profiles.
I took the one she gave us, and revised it. I added lines for information that I needed to know about my characters so its a combination form, partly her ideas and some of my own. So its a full profile for my main characters, and I can when I write about them, I know everything I need to know to develop their personalities in my story.
Then I did another form for secondary characters…you know the people that come and go in your story, but you don’t need to know everything about them. You may need to know a little, but not a full profile.
Doing these has helped me understand my characters so much better. I thought I knew them well enough to write them into my story, but readers need to identify with them, and the writer needs to know them as well as he/she can possibly know anyone.
I know my characters so well that they’re like familiar friends or family members. I don’t know all their intimate secrets yet, but I know enough that I can write about them. They need to be just like real people and that’s what the reader will sense while they read the story. Identifying with your main characters will draw your reader in. If you don’t know them that well, then your reader won’t either.
This is another stage of planning, which I can’t stress enough as being an important part of starting your story. Hope this helps!
Feel free to use mine or make your own if you find anything useful in the form. They’re underlined in blue below.
Keep writing, and enjoy your week! 🙂